Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake -- A Pinch of Joy

Hummingbird Cake -- A Pinch of Joy
I’ve heard of Hummingbird Cake forever and wondered what it was. I pictured something light and fluffy, fruity and sweet to taste. You know – hummingbird like!   So I jumped at the chance to make one when my friend Donna shared a Hummingbird Cake recipe.

Be sure to use overripe bananas since they are sweeter. Mashing them releases more of the ripe banana flavor.   Mash bananas with a fork in a small bowl or in the two cup measure. It will take about 4 bananas to make two cups. Don’t drain the pineapple. You can substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans (or use coconut instead if there is nut allergy to worry about). A 9×13 pan will work, but I’d recommend using the layer pans. I used a 9×13 pan as it is the only one available at the moment and it took about 45 minutes for the center to test done. Even then it was a little gooey to eat. I cut in half to make a layer cake. A good cream cheese frosting is traditional. I wasn’t sure how to embellish the cake so I just used a row of pecan halves along the bottom. Next time –and there will be a next time– I will chop extra pecans and press them into the sides of the frosted cake. I’ll also try about half a teaspoon of nutmeg along with the cinnamon. Delicious cake and gets even better if you can resist eating it all in the first day or two!

Nobody seems to know where the hummingbird fits into the picture. It’s not because the cake is light and fluffy, fruity and sweet to taste or remotely bird like. However, it is dense and moist, slightly spicy and sort of tropical to the taste. So here’s my theory on the name: Humming birds eat at least half their weight in sugar each day just to survive. With their high metabolism they can eat up to 8 times their own weight in a single day. They eat “meals” just like people, usually about 5 times a day.   This is perfect humming bird food: Dense with just enough sugar and you’ll want it more than once a day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-)

Hummingbird Cake
 
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Dense, moist oh-so-good cake with banana, pineapple and nuts!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups oil
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (3-4 large bananas)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, gently mixing with whisk.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well moistened. Do not over mix.
  4. Spray 3 9 inch cake pans or two 8x8 square pans. Divide cake mixture evenly between pans.
  5. Bake 25-35 minutes until cake is done in center. When done, a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
  6. Cool fifteen minutes before removing from pan to rack. When completely cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.

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Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole

Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole -- A Pinch of Joy
Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole -- A Pinch of Joy

Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole is perfect for a holiday brunch. It is a nice alternative to the usual Egg and Bread Breakfast Casserole. The Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole is a party animal, especially if you use the optional egg wash to “make it pretty.” Serve with mixed fresh fruit, yogurt parfait, a light crispy pastry roll and a beverage bar. Beautiful and filling for a day of celebrating.

This is a little “busy” to make, but so worth it. If you have hearty appetites – that’s this house! – plan on 9 servings instead of twelve. You might want two of these delicious casseroles for a brunch buffet because they will be back for more! You could brown the sausage ahead of time to make things a little easier. Also, buy the crescent sheets if you can find them. I don’t find them in every store – and sometimes a store that had them before, doesn’t have them when I am looking. I use a large cutting board, to seal the perforations of the crescent ROLLS, then turn the whole thing upside down over the casserole to peel the dough off the board onto the top of the casserole. The spreadable cheese comes in different sized containers, depending on the brand. This time I used Rondele garlic and herb, which was in an 8 ounce container and used about ¾ of it. Allouette is another brand, usually in a 6-7 ounce container, which also works well. Using an offset spatula (like a frosting spatula) works great for spreading the cheese.

You can’t really taste the mushrooms – Bytes didn’t even notice they were there and he is NOT a mushroom fan! – but they add a nice depth to the overall flavor and texture. You can leave them out or substitute your choice of veggie. In fact, you could leave out the sausage and make the casserole entirely veggie! The egg wash makes the finished casserole pretty deep golden brown and makes the top crust moist which enhances the overall flavor and texture. And yes, it does reheat beautifully in the microwave next day – just in case there are leftovers.

Cheesy Crescent Scrambled Egg Casserole
 
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A deliciously layered breakfast casserole -- savory and filling!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12 medium servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounce sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 9 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 can crescent sheets (or rolls)
  • 1 6 ounce container spreadable cheese, such as Rondele garlic and herb
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Optional topping
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Set out spreadable cheese to reach room temperature ahead of time.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. Cook and crumble the sausage. Drain any excess fat.
  4. While sausage is cooking, saute the chopped green onions and mushroom in the butter, over medium heat and stirring occasionally, until they are just softened.
  5. In the meantime, whisk together the nine eggs with 3 tablespoons of milk. Add to sauted vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lower the heat and gently scramble the eggs for 2-3 minutes, until they are just barely cooked. Eggs will still be soft. Remove from heat.
  7. Press one can of crescent sheets into baking pan, covering the bottom and about halfway up the sides. If using crescent rolls, seal the perforations as you go.
  8. Spread the softened cheese evenly over the crescent crust.
  9. Spoon the gently scrambled eggs over the cheesy crust.
  10. Spoon sausage over the eggs evenly and sprinkle shredded cheese over the whole filling.
  11. Unroll the second can of crescent dough and place on top, stretching to fit and tucking excess down the sides. If using crescent rolls, seal the perforations first on a silicone baking mat or a nylon cutting board and then transfer to top of casserole.
  12. If using the optional topping, beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl and brush over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  13. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.


I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!   Follow:    Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and   pinterest.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!


THE best Pork Barbecue Sandwich

THE best Pork Barbecue Sandwich -- A Pinch of Joy
THE best Pork Barbecue Sandwich -- A Pinch of Joy

Introducing Hoggers, THE best barbecue pork sandwiches ever.

To get the irony of that statement in our house you have to know: Bytes was allergic to tomatoes. He outgrew the allergy somewhere around eighth grade, but I still don’t use many tomatoes in cooking. Barbecue sauce is not our thing either as the preference here is subtle seasoning for meat. So this recipe came about by pure accident!

I was buzzing through the grocery with a short list and, as always, on the lookout for bargains. I noted a cart laden with fresh meat being pushed from the butcher shop. It stopped at the area of the cooler designated for markdowns. I picked up two items on the list between me and the meat section. By the time I got to the counter, a small mob had gathered and the cart pusher had given up putting anything on the shelf because people were snatching meat off the cart. I’ve never seen anything like it! And neither had the cart pusher! As we stood watching, she said in wonderment, this is all I was able to get off the cart. There were three packages of cubed steak in her hand. I said I’ll take those and avoid the crowd. We laughed and she handed them to me.

When I pulled them out of the freezer days later, they weren’t cubed steak – as in beef. They were cubed pork. I was having visions of Cowboy Sandwich (aka Manly Man’s Sandwich)  Even had the buns purchased. But the pork in my hand called for a different approach than onions and Worcestershire sauce. And there wasn’t time to research. Everyone was h.u.n.g.r.y. Pork and barbecue came to mind. Just so happened there was a bottle of honey barbecue sauce (for Calico Beans) in the fridge along with the usual ketchup. A bit of brown sugar. Cut up the meat like the beef for Cowboy Sandwiches and toast the buns. Create a lettuce salad. And we sat down for what was probably going to be a ho hum, just fill you up meal.

Usually when it is a new recipe on the table and it’s very quiet, it’s because no one can find anything good to say. But this time, it was because everyone was too busy inhaling the sandwich! When they reached the end, the decision was unanimous. Wowsers!!! Tender, sweet and just a bit tangy. Toasted bun made the bread meld with the flavorful filling. And Hoggers were born!

I’m going to give you the recipe as I make it. Makes three generous sandwiches on 6 inch buns. It can be doubled for six servings.  But if you want a different quantity here’s the shortcut: one 6 to 8 ounce cubed pork cutlet and one 6 inch bun per sandwich. For the sauce, use 1/4 cup honey barbecue sauce plus a heaping tablespoon of ketchup and a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar and multiply by the number of sandwiches.   Heaping means generously mounded over the top of the spoon.

THE best Pork Barbecue Sandwich
 
Tender meat, delicious sauce -- a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy and a whole lot good!
Author:
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 3 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 18 ounces cubed pork cutlet (approximate)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ¾ cup honey barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 6-inch sub buns
Instructions
  1. Cut buns in half and butter each half. Set aside.
  2. Slice cubed meat into thin bite-size strips.
  3. Place skillet over medium heat and add oil. When oil is heated, add meat.
  4. Brown meat on all sides, stirring as needed.
  5. In meantime, stir together remaining ingredients to make the sauce. When meat is browned and cooked through, stir in sauce. Cover and continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid in pan is almost gone.
  6. In second, larger skillet, place buttered side of buns down and heat until golden and toasty. (Three half buns will fit a 12 inch skillet so allow time to do a second batch.)

 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!    Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and   pinterest.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!

 



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